A Thought For Food » where ideas are brought to simmer


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  • celynJanuary 20, 2015 - 10:33 am

    wow the food looks fantastic! loving the decor of the place too


  • Nan Cook LoydJanuary 20, 2015 - 6:21 pm

    Your photographs are so good, they draw me. I want to go to this place, see that stack of uneven but beautiful plates (pottery), taste the food, sit back and go “ahhhh” – evocative!ReplyCancel

  • Sandy@REJanuary 21, 2015 - 10:09 am

    Your photography is as beautiful as ever. I’d love to dive into this meal, Brian. Always happy coming here!ReplyCancel

  • naomiJanuary 21, 2015 - 1:06 pm

    As always, Iove your silent Sunday. The photos are just beautifulReplyCancel

  • Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabblesJanuary 21, 2015 - 4:05 pm

    Gorgeous photos, Brian. Those stacks of plates!! Lovely seafood meal, too!ReplyCancel

  • Gerry @ Foodness GraciousJanuary 23, 2015 - 1:10 am

    Great clicks Brian, always amazing too look at..ReplyCancel

  • Sommer @ASpicyPerspectiveJanuary 25, 2015 - 8:22 am

    Gorgeous photos! I can only imagine the bursting flavors from that beautiful dish!ReplyCancel

Crispy Ginger Snaps

Our winter routine now consists of a nightly pot of tea. Lemon or lemon-ginger are our go-tos. I often leave mine unadulterated, but sometimes there’s a couple teaspoons of honey, an additional squeeze of lemon, and, on the weekends (or after an especially stressful day), a splash of rum or bourbon. We sip this on our couch, curled up under blankets (Maki is usually wrapped up under two or three of these in an attempt to keep her nose warm).  The TV streams episodes one after the next. We’re in full hibernation mode.

On a recent trip to the store, Eric mentioned that he’s been craving some ginger snaps to go with our tea. We bought a box and, while delicious, I couldn’t help but think how nice it’d be if I made my own cookies. Not that it’d be healthier, but, unlike other prepared items we purchase, baking a batch of ginger snaps isn’t terribly complicated. Now, I’m usually a fan of chewy cookies. A little crunch on the outside is fine, but I prefer them a little underdone in the middle. However, my goal here was to make crispy ginger snaps. And I wanted them to be little guys. A couple bites each.

This took a bit of work. I first made the dough, which I knew would result in a flavorful cookies, since I’d consumed half the bowl as I transferred it to the baking sheet. The trick was to roll the dough balls so that when they spread in the oven, it would only be a couple inches in diameter. Next, I needed to figure out how long to bake them for. Too long, and they get burnt (which happened a few times) and too short and they don’t crisp up. It’s a tough job, but I was happy to take on the challenge.

I’ve found that a number of ginger cookies don’t call for crystalized ginger. For me, I love the kick that you get from those little bits, so I’ve included some in this recipe. There’s no doubt that these are ginger cookies. None at all.

Crispy Ginger Snaps // A Thought For FoodCrispy Ginger Snaps // A Thought For FoodCrispy Ginger Snaps // A Thought For FoodCrispy Ginger SnapsCrispy Ginger Snaps // A Thought For FoodCrispy Ginger Snaps // A Thought For FoodCrispy Ginger Snaps // A Thought For FoodView full post »

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  • KateJanuary 12, 2015 - 1:48 am

    Funny, I’m sitting on the couch with a mug of tea, under a blanket, with Cookie curled up next to me. Now I want one of these ginger snaps to go with the rest! Happy new year, Brian.ReplyCancel

  • Liz @ Floating KitchenJanuary 12, 2015 - 8:21 am

    There is definitely something magical about a really crispy cookie and a cup of hot tea. Stay warm, friend!ReplyCancel

  • Tiffany | offbeat + inspiredJanuary 12, 2015 - 9:12 am

    Oh these look WONDERFUL. And your photos. Always. <3ReplyCancel

  • TieghanJanuary 12, 2015 - 9:26 am

    Umm, these would be one of those things I would not be able to STOP eating. So good looking!ReplyCancel

  • Lynn @ Order in the KitchenJanuary 12, 2015 - 10:18 am

    These look spectacular and the photographs are gorgeous as always! xoReplyCancel

  • Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabblesJanuary 12, 2015 - 3:48 pm

    So pretty. Perfect for tea hibernation.ReplyCancel

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla SugarJanuary 12, 2015 - 5:25 pm

    A good gingersnap has got to be one of the best creations on earth. Love these!ReplyCancel

  • Brandon @ Kitchen KonfidenceJanuary 12, 2015 - 7:53 pm

    I love a good ginger cookie especially with the crystallized ginger bits. Sweet heat.ReplyCancel

  • Aimee @ Simple BitesJanuary 12, 2015 - 8:04 pm

    These words and images make me want to drop in for tea. Lovely cookies, Brian! Stay warm. xReplyCancel

  • ValerieJanuary 13, 2015 - 7:40 am

    These look delicious! My daughter has been making different gingersnap recipes over the past month – looks like I’ll be giving her another one to try!ReplyCancel

  • KellyJanuary 13, 2015 - 1:58 pm

    I love gingersnaps. Thanks for sharing and your photos are beautiful! Very inspiring!ReplyCancel

  • Sylvie | Gourmande in the KitchenJanuary 14, 2015 - 1:52 am

    Ginger snaps have always been one of my favorite kinds of cookies, I love the crunch and spicy hit of ginger.ReplyCancel

  • francescaJanuary 14, 2015 - 5:00 am

    Our evenings are full of tea pots and sweet snacks for dunking… great minds think alike <3ReplyCancel

  • LauraJanuary 14, 2015 - 10:32 am

    Oh I do love some snappy ginger cookies with tea, and definitely prefer some crisp-ness. My nightly tea is usually chamomile (we’re in full-bore hibernation up here in Canada too–sending a wool-gloved high five) and sooooometimes I add a splash of amaretto. So, so tasty and cozy.ReplyCancel

  • Arthur in the Garden!January 16, 2015 - 3:03 pm


Black Radish Slaw with Toasted Quinoa // A Thought For Food
These poor black radishes sat in the fridge for weeks. Actually, it may have been over a month. Totally neglected. As the one who does most of the cooking, it was up to me to get up the guts to work with these again. The last time was almost two years ago and I was a bit stunned by their pungent flavor. It was a similar reaction to what I had when I first tried dandelion greens. But now I’m a fan of those greens. I found a way to mellow them and I knew I could do the same with black radish.

After weeks of meals loaded with butter, cream, sugar, and all those delicious and rich ingredients, I was ready to lighten things up a bit. Slaws are my favorite this time of year. Between the soups and stews, it’s nice to balance things by preparing a big salad with a zingy slaw. A little sweetness comes out through the agave and carrot, with a touch of tang from the lime. It’s got a lot going on. A ton of flavor; a lot of textures. And it reminds me to remain fearless in the kitchen. At face value, an ingredient can be intimidating. Approaching it with a little finesse, however, can transform it into something beautiful.
Black Radish Slaw with Toasted Quinoa // A Thought For FoodBlack Radish Slaw with Toasted Quinoa // A Thought For FoodBlack Radish Slaw with Toasted Quinoa // A Thought For FoodBlack Radish Slaw with Toasted Quinoa // A Thought For FoodBlack Radish Slaw with Toasted Quinoa // A Thought For FoodBlack Radish Slaw with Toasted Quinoa // A Thought For FoodBlack Radish Slaw with Toasted Quinoa // A Thought For FoodBlack Radish Slaw with Toasted Quinoa // A Thought For FoodView full post »

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Chard + Roasted Garlic Pesto//A Thought For Food

What can be said in New Year rhymes,
That’s not been said a thousand times?

The new years come, the old years go,
We know we dream, we dream we know.

We rise up laughing with the light,
We lie down weeping with the night.

We hug the world until it stings,
We curse it then and sigh for wings.

We live, we love, we woo, we wed,
We wreathe our brides, we sheet our dead.

We laugh, we weep, we hope, we fear,
And that’s the burden of the year.

The Year, Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Chard and Roasted Garlic PestoChard and Roasted Garlic PestoChard and Roasted Garlic PestoChard and Roasted Garlic PestoIMG_2969IMG_2886Chard and Roasted Garlic PestoIMG_3064Chard + Roasted Garlic Pesto//A Thought For FoodChard + Roasted Garlic Pesto//A Thought For FoodView full post »

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  • Sommer@ASpicyPerspectiveDecember 29, 2014 - 9:04 am

    Love the color! Happy New Year Brian!!ReplyCancel

  • Millie | Add A LittleDecember 29, 2014 - 11:08 am

    Yes – I love this post. The photos, the writing, gorgeous Brian! Have a great start to the new year!ReplyCancel

  • Kari @ Cooking with ToddlersDecember 29, 2014 - 12:45 pm

    This looks so amazing!ReplyCancel

  • Lynn LovejoyDecember 29, 2014 - 3:21 pm

    This looks heavenly and your photos are spectacular as always!ReplyCancel

  • JoanneDecember 30, 2014 - 8:20 am

    Happy new year Brian! Thanks so much for helping to make part of my 2014 so special! :)

    And YES to this pesto! I hear that eating greens on New Year’s is supposed to bring ALL THE LUCK so this is pretty perfect.ReplyCancel

  • KellyDecember 30, 2014 - 7:38 pm

    I love that poem. Beautiful and so are your photos. Never thought to make a pesto with chard but now I must! Thanks!ReplyCancel

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  • renee (will frolic for food)January 2, 2015 - 8:38 pm

    fantastic photos! that pesto looks so vibrant. i’ll have to try this, if just for the perfectly intense garlickyness of it all. <3ReplyCancel

  • Renee ByrdJanuary 3, 2015 - 1:37 am

    fantastic photos! that pesto looks so vibrant. i’ll have to try this!ReplyCancel

  • […] chard and roasted garlic pesto. so […]ReplyCancel

  • ElizabethJanuary 4, 2015 - 11:54 am

    Gorgeous words, gorgeous food. For all the parties, I find the turning of the year to be a little heavy –– it’s comforting to know this angst isn’t anything new. Nonetheless, cheers to a beautiful year ahead.ReplyCancel

  • FrancescaJanuary 4, 2015 - 12:13 pm

    I made something similar with spinach + walnuts… but those oven cloves? That right there’s some genius.ReplyCancel

The Cider Mill (Scotch, Apple Syrup, and Grapefruit Bitters) // A Thought For FoodThe Cider Mill (Scotch, Apple Syrup, and Grapefruit Bitters) // A Thought For Food

I failed at posting a Hanukkah recipe. I had one in my head but never got around to making it. I guess I’ll just have to save it for next year. This seems to always happen to me when it comes to holiday recipes. Even this post, a cocktail to ring in the New Year, almost didn’t happen. Vijay, Brandon and I had talked a few weeks ago about doing another What I Drink post, since we had such a blast with the first one. We’re a few guys who not only love food, but enjoy getting creative with our cocktails. And whenever a holiday comes around, you can bet that the three of us have come up with a creative beverage to go with the celebratory feast. But, as I said, we were pretty close to not succeeding in our second installment.

I’m so glad we stuck to our guns, though. Each of us have come up with drinks that use seasonal ingredients and somewhat underused booze.  Brandon’s working with champagne and infused brandy. And Vijay did a little switch up by putting mezcal in his version of a Blood and Sand, and cranberries are always a wonderful addition to a cocktail, both in flavor and color.

As for this little concoction I mixed together, well, it took me a little while until I figured out exactly what I wanted to make.  Originally, I had a hot toddy in mind, but I’d been anxious to try out this little cider syrup trick and I’ve already posted an apple hot toddy… so that was out. Then I considered doing something with mezcal (I know, I’m obsessed), but when I looked in our cabinet, I found that we were all out (GAH!). So, I went with Scotch. Despite my love for a little single-malt goodness, I’ve never had it paired with other ingredients. Well, I’m hooked now. Don’t be skeptical. Try it, and you will be too. Promise.

I’m not sure I’ll be able to whip up something for next week. I might just take a little time off. We’ll have to see. Then again, if there’s some free time and I’m inspired, you may see me pop up here.  If not, I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday.

Happy Hanukkah. Merry Christmas. Enjoy your Kwanza. Or your Festivus.

Oh, and happy New Year.

The Cider Mill (Scotch, Apple Syrup, and Grapefruit Bitters) // A Thought For FoodThe Cider Mill (Scotch, Apple Syrup, and Grapefruit Bitters) // A Thought For FoodThe Cider Mill (Scotch, Apple Syrup, and Grapefruit Bitters) // A Thought For FoodView full post »

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Zaatar Roasted Beets with Honeyed Yogurt, Orange + Pistachio  // A Thought For Food

We had our neighbors over for dinner on Sunday. They’re a lot of fun. By that I mean that they like to imbibe just as much as we do (and they’re really nice, thoughtful guys). We’ve been known to get sucked into the vortex of their porch, where wine is poured freely and in great quantity. A quick hello turns into a three hour gossip session.

When we lived in South Boston, we knew our neighbors but we didn’t have a close relationship with any of them. Most of them were pleasant. Others, not so much.

To be perfectly honest, I didn’t think much about the whole neighbor thing until we’d been here for a few weeks and got to meet everyone. We live on a smaller, dead end street. Everyone’s been here for a number of years. Many grew up on the street, which I think says a lot about the area.  They all look out for one another, helping with yard work or cleaning the gutters or shoveling. It’s all very sweet, in a Pleasantville kind of way. (Except this is Massachusetts… where everyone has a bit of an edge)

Well, I got off track a bit. Our neighbors. Dinner. Sunday. They came over (at 4, because I know our track record and figured it’d be best to start our martini consumption early). Eric smoked a duck on the grill, I made the sides. One of those sides was this roasted beet dish, which our guests enjoyed immensely. In fact, I knew these two were good people when one of them said, “Oh, are these beets? I love beets!” I hear so much from the naysayers (They taste like dirt! Beets? Gross!) that I was thrilled to have a fan in our midst.

Zaatar Roasted Beets with Honeyed Yogurt, Orange + Pistachio  // A Thought For FoodZaatar Roasted Beets with Honeyed Yogurt, Orange + Pistachio  // A Thought For FoodZaatar Roasted Beets with Honeyed Yogurt, Orange + Pistachio  // A Thought For FoodView full post »

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  • Belinda @themoonblushbakerDecember 10, 2014 - 3:33 am

    The relationship you have found with your neighbours is one that is so rare. I have also got to know my neighbours and it has become deeper than that were they are almost like second member of the family. Also you can never have too many food lovers over!
    You plated such a marvellous meal! Gorgeous!ReplyCancel

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla SugarDecember 10, 2014 - 6:41 am

    You’re so lucky to be so close with your neighbours! I live in an apartment building where my next door neighbour is my landlord and yells in the hall all hours of the night, and the person below me CONSTANTLY bangs on his ceiling (my floor) with a broom handle every time my husband plays the piano or even randomly sometimes when we’re watching tv! I’d love to have people over and make something like this, but for now I’ll save this beauty recipe for me! Lovely :)ReplyCancel

  • TieghanDecember 10, 2014 - 8:46 am

    That is awesome you have such nice neighbors you can hang with. That does not seem to happen often.
    Beautiful beets! I would gobble them up!ReplyCancel

  • SofiaDecember 10, 2014 - 9:09 am

    This looks AMAZING! Beets are the best…and with smoked duck?? Lucky neighbours you guys have!ReplyCancel

  • naomiDecember 10, 2014 - 11:22 am

    I love the sound of your neighborhood, and the stories about your gatherings–makes me want to be your neighbor and settle in for a drink!

    The beets – I love beets! So naturally I”m all over this, especially with the zatar.ReplyCancel

  • CherylDecember 10, 2014 - 1:20 pm

    Won’t you be my neighbor?

    I like the idea of a porch vortex where good people get sucked into friendly conversation, festive drinks, and wonderful food. Especially when it involves yogurt + za’atar.ReplyCancel

  • ShainaDecember 10, 2014 - 5:57 pm

    I’m so glad you have wonderful neighbors. It makes all the difference. These beets are perfection.ReplyCancel

  • Sylvie | Gourmande in the KitchenDecember 10, 2014 - 6:19 pm

    That’s awesome to have great neighbors that you can hangout with and enjoy a good meal together.ReplyCancel

  • francescaDecember 11, 2014 - 2:54 am

    That porch vortex sounds pretty great :)ReplyCancel

  • LauraDecember 11, 2014 - 10:21 pm

    If you’re asking me, anyone who loves beets and can hold their booze is a keeper friend-wise. These beets especially, which sound perfect by the way. We live on the same, can’t-believe-people-are-this-great-kinda street too. A neighbour from waaaay down brought his snowblower over to clean our driveway today and I was just aghast. Community vibes! Nothing beats (beets?! heh) ’em.ReplyCancel

  • AgnieszkaDecember 20, 2014 - 8:25 am

    The pictures are beautiful and the food looks delicious. I can’t wait to try this!ReplyCancel